EL PASO, Texas — A fugitive wanted for homicide in Zacatecas, Mexico, was deported Wednesday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).
Jose Refugio Gonzalez-Gaytan, 37, was turned over to Mexican authorities at the top of El Paso’s Stanton International Bridge. He is wanted for allegedly stabbing Luis Daniel Sanchez Morales, 22, multiple times causing his death in May 2014.
Since July 2003, Gonzalez-Gaytan has illegally entered the United States at least five times through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. He has been deported four times.
On July 4, 2004, the Riverside Sheriff’s Office in Riverside, California, arrested Gonzalez-Gaytan and charged him with driving under the influence — alcohol and drugs. He was convicted and sentenced to six days in jail and three years of probation.
In March 8, 2010, he was convicted in New Mexico for illegal entry and sentenced to 30 days in prison.
On July 2, 2015, the Mexican attorney general’s office advised ERO El Paso that Gonzalez-Gaytan was wanted in Zacatecas, Mexico, for homicide, and requested ERO turn him over to Mexican law enforcement officials at the time of his removal from the country.
On Oct. 1, he was convicted a second time for illegal re-entry and sentenced to three years’ probation. And Oct. 6, he was released from the El Paso County Detention Facility and turned over to ICE custody for removal.
Since Oct. 1, 2009, ERO has removed more than 1,150 foreign fugitives from the United States who were sought in their native countries for serious crimes, including kidnapping, rape and murder. ERO works with the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Office of International Operations, foreign consular offices in the United States, and Interpol to identify foreign fugitives illegally present in the United States. Members of the public who have information about foreign fugitives are urged to contact ICE by calling the ICE tip line at 1 (866) 347-2423 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also file a tip online by completing ICE’s online tip form.
ERO coordinates the removal of criminals, foreign fugitives and others ordered deported. Last year alone, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. ICE is focused on smart and effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes its resources based on those who pose the biggest threat to national security, border security and public safety. ICE’s civil enforcement efforts are based on priorities set by the Secretary of Homeland Security in November 2014.